Summarizing the CEO Night Discussion on Cross-Cultural Communications

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November 2, 2020 5 min read

On October 29, 2020, Innovecs hosted the CEO Night panel dedicated to cross-cultural communications in the tech world within our InnoHub studio and broadcasted live online.

Daria Leshchenko from Support Your App, Iryna Volk from Dell Technologies, and Alex Lutskiy from Innovecs had a fantastic talk about the value of effective communication with partners, teams, and customers. They shared experience-backed insight and practical cases, additionally, added laughter into the mix.

The event was moderated by Andrew Wrobel from Emerging Europe, one of our media partners. His approach and skills in moderating helped create an inviting, but relaxed atmosphere.

Let’s go more in-depth and outline the key points of the discussion.

Communications VS Technologies: Who Is The Winner?

Have technologies completely replaced communication? In an era of distributed teams and “work-from-home” reality, it seems that we will never get back to face-to-face communication and interaction. However, our speakers debunked this myth.

Iryna Volk relies on three pillars in her work: bring clarity, generate energy, and drive results. She claims that communication is a very big part of this approach.

We live in a world of constant changes, with a growing degree of complexity. It is most related to IT, which is the most dynamic area, and it is probably the most global and multicultural industry in the world right now. And effective communication means a lot to deliver a sharp and crisp message to your team, a very diverse team.
Iryna Volk,
General Manager at Dell Technology Group

Iryna also considers that communication helps deliver results to customers. It promotes interaction within the team and helps to get buy-in from senior management. That is a day-by-day goal to make different types of communication extremely effective.

Daria Leshchenko believes that “technology plays a great role right now in our lives and in our businesses”. However, interpersonal communication is needed to feel the energy, discuss news and updates with your colleagues, even over morning coffee. And “technology can’t fill this gap”.

Alex Lutskiy thinks that today we all must handle the challenges of COVID-19, technologies are very helpful for communication.

Technology definitely helps a lot to keep the communication going. But I also agree that technology does not replace face-to-face interaction and the ability to make things we can’t do over technologies, especially when it comes to sales.
Alex Lutskiy,
CEO of Innovecs

What Is the Role of Communication in the Sales Process?

Andrew Wrobel said that IT in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, and Ukraine, was a strong area, and the cultural differences could significantly influence the selling process in this industry.

Companies mostly sell online, and their representatives do not see the customers. However, to close deals, sales executives must be aware of the cultural peculiarities of the client they are selling to. Daria works with clients from 28 countries, and she notices differences in communication all the time. For example, Israeli clients are open and always know what they want. Customers from the U.S. are very emotional and friendly, but you never know what to expect from them at the end of the selling journey. And Nordic clients are neutral. So, she recommends trying different communication approaches.

You do not need to rely on the first impression in communication with potential clients. And remember that there are, of course, exceptions.
Daria Leshchenko,
CEO, Partner at SupportYourApp

Alex divides the sales process into three categories: technical instruments the team uses regardless of the client’s country, digital marketing sales, and offline face-to-face.

The last two categories are where the understanding of the culture is very crucial, especially today when you receive thousands of different emails in the proposition, so your content should look in the way creating some kind of attention to a potential buyer. And in this case, the culture fit — understanding of the profile of the client — becomes a key.
Alex Lutskiy,
CEO of Innovecs

He agrees with Daria that Israeli clients “are not about going around of a different type of proposal, they are straight to the point”. Alex believes that “sales is an art, and if you are a good artist in sales, it means that you can be flexible between the regions and shuffle around easily”.

Iryna shared her experience and told her story. When she was working for Microsoft, she was responsible for the regions from Belarus to Mongolia. However, at that time, they decided to launch the sales hub in Ireland. Although sales representatives were located in one country, they all spoke Russian and English and had to travel to the client’s side to meet customers first, to build connections.

It was like a corporate blueprint. All my countries were killed by this news — they said no way this gonna fly. But we succeeded in this sales model of operation.
Iryna Volk,
General Manager at Dell Technology Group

Tips for Small Companies Aiming to Sell Globally

Our speakers provided some tips and recommendations for small companies that strive to grow and sell outside their countries. Here are some of them:

  • Read and learn more about different cultures and create a plan.
  • Look for small clients first and then expand the coverage slowly.
  • Word of mouth and recommendations matter — so work in this direction.
  • Gain trust from your existing customers.
  • Build a core team at your location and sell globally, this is not an obstacle at all.

If you want to get more insight, hear more tips, and adopt the best practices, watch the full video of the event below. Be sure to tune into the next CEO Night talk. We look forward to seeing you there, as always.

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